Skip to main content

Quadriceps Tears and Tendon Ruptures

  • 288 Accesses


A quadriceps tendon tear or rupture is a break in the tendon connecting the quadriceps muscle to the patella. This injury frequently occurs in males over 40 years old, patients with systemic inflammatory conditions, and athletes who frequently jump. Partial tears may be difficult to diagnose on physical examination, and ultrasound or MRI may be diagnostic. Acute knee pain, difficulty with knee extension, and a low riding patella characterize full thickness tears, which can be visualized on lateral X-rays. Incomplete tears may be treated conservatively, while full thickness tears and incomplete tears with functional deficits require surgical intervention.


  • Quadriceps tear
  • Quadriceps rupture
  • Knee pain
  • Tendinosis
  • Patella baja
  • Knee extension abnormality
  • Knee surgery
  • Ligament pathology

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


  1. Ilan D, Tejwani N, Keschner M, Leibman. M. Quadriceps tendon rupture. J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2003;11:192–200.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  2. Ciriello V, Gudipati S, Tosounidis T, Soucacos PN, Giannoudis PV. Clinical outcomes after repair of quadriceps tendon rupture: a systematic review. Injury. 2012; Nov;43(11):1931–8.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  3. Lee D, Stinner D, Mir. H. Quadriceps and patellar tendon ruptures. J Knee Surg. 2013;26(5):301–8.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  4. Stanish WD, Yepes H, Al-Hibshi A. Tendon disorders. In: Johnson DH, Pedowitz RA, editors. Practical orthopaedic sports medicine and arthroscopy. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins; 2006. p. 729–39.

    Google Scholar 

  5. McNeilan R, Flanigan D. Chapter 10: quadriceps tendon ruptures. In: Kaeding CC, Borchers JR, editors. Hamstring and quadriceps injuries in athletes: a clinical guide. New York: Springer; 2014. p. 103–19.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Ann H. Lichtenstein DO .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2017 Springer International Publishing AG

About this chapter

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this chapter

Lichtenstein, A.H., Fine, J. (2017). Quadriceps Tears and Tendon Ruptures. In: Kahn, S., Xu, R. (eds) Musculoskeletal Sports and Spine Disorders. Springer, Cham.

Download citation

  • DOI:

  • Published:

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-319-50510-7

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-319-50512-1

  • eBook Packages: MedicineMedicine (R0)